AN OSWESTRY woman whose 92-year-old mother had to endure a nine-hour wait for an ambulance after suffering a fall is calling for more priority to be given to elderly people in distress.

Sian Tasker described the situation as ‘unforgiveable’, after her mother, Glenys Coombes, was made to wait overnight for an ambulance after suffering two fractures during a fall last Tuesday.

With a fractured shoulder and hip, Glenys was looked after at home by Sian and her husband from 8.45pm on Tuesday, until around 5.45am on Wednesday when an ambulance arrived.

Sian explained how her mother was put through more distress when she had to endure a wait in A&E alone, after Sian was told she would not be able to accompany her mother in the hospital.

“If a 92-year-old woman with two fractures lies on the floor for nine hours, the algorithm is wrong,” Sian said.

“At one stage, I was told there were around 200 calls before mine would be considered.

“We all know these services are underfunded, and probably understaffed as well, but I think if the system they use is wrong too, that’s an additional problem which should be addressed.

“I just feel that our elderly, throughout the pandemic, have been made to take second place.

“For all of these things to happen to a 92-year-old over 24 hours is awful.”

Although Sian was quick to praise the paramedics who treated her mother when the ambulance arrived, she believes more needs to be done to prioritise elderly people in distress.

“I was told it was not life-threatening and that they were busy,” she said.

“I felt as though it was life-threatening – my mother is 92. For any elderly person in distress after a fall, it can lead to shock and could become life-threatening.

“She was in a terrible state for those nine hours.

“I have to say before anything else, I am not complaining one bit about any care she received from the paramedics – they were fabulous.

“Unfortunately, I wanted to follow them to the hospital to bring some stuff for my mother, but I was told I couldn’t .

“I had no reason to disbelieve this – but I have since discovered that, right through the pandemic, people have been allowed into A&E with vulnerable people.

“As a result of me not going in, nine hours on the floor was followed by 12 hours in A&E on her own, which is pretty unforgiveable.”

After Glenys was moved to the trauma and orthopaedic ward at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Sian was told she would be unable to visit her mother during her stay.

But after her mother became distressed at hospital, Sian complained to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson and the hospital, and was later told she would be allowed to visit.

Kara Blackwell, deputy director of nursing at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) said visits are currently managed with extra precaution due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “We understand that relatives and friends want to be with their loved ones when they are in hospital and we are continuing to work towards restoring visiting, in a way that is safe for all of our patients and staff, as soon as possible.

“Because many of the admissions to our hospitals are emergencies, we need to take extra precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“We understand how distressing this can be for families and I would like to assure everyone that we are working to implement a solution as soon as it is safe to do so.”

West Midlands Ambulance Service has been contacted for comment.